The Los Angeles Rams look poised to improve on their dismal 2016 NFL season after encouraging signs from their preseason play. Jared Goff looked comfortable in new head coach Sean Mcvay’s offense and should hopefully resemble a quality starting quarterback during the 2017 NFL season.
While there is optimism for the offense, the defense has been lacking its unquestioned leader in Aaron Donald. The defensive tackle has yet to return to the Rams over a contract dispute, but according to Myles Simmons of Rams, McVay left the door open for Donald to play in Week 1:
He is not ruled out, but right now he’s not here. Guys are ready to go and we’re getting a plan in place and the preparation goes on,” McVay said. “Fortunately, we’ve got a bunch of guys that we feel confident in that are ready to step up. Like we said, our message continues to remain the same: If he’s here, great, we’ll accept him back with open arms. But in the meantime we’ve got to get ready to play a football game and we know the Colts are getting ready as well.”
Donald has held out since the beginning of the offseason and there has been little to no progress on a possible extension agreement between his camp and the team. The 26-year-old is arguably the best at his position and it is surprising that Los Angeles has yet to find a solution to appease their star tackle.
McVay previously stated that he would not put a deadline on Donald’s return, but so far all indications point to the three-time Pro Bowler missing the first week of the 2017 NFL season. With no solution in sight, this could turn into an uglier situation for the Rams.